Founded in 1998, Stivali takes its inspiration from the sophistication of New York, European design and the pre-Spanish history of the Americas. The shoes are handmade in Colombia, the native country of co-creators, Louis and Lina Guarin, who are now based in New York. In 2016, the married couple took the reins from Louis’ father and mentor, Eduardo Guarin, beginning a rebranding process for a larger audience, all while carefully preserving its rich back story.

Stivali’s Colombian heritage shines throughout the branding. The handcrafted styles incorporate signature design elements and even cultural mythology into the mix. The Stivali moon-shaped logo on all shoes is inspired by the gold jewelry worn by indigenous Colombian tribes, while Stivali’s signature riding boot, the Zipa, ties back to Colombian lore plus Louis’ family’s equestrian traditions. Legend tells of a Muisca king, the Zipa, who would cover himself in gold dust during sacred festivals, an important component of the legend of El Dorado.

Eduardo Guarin, Louis’ father, named the brand Stivali to link his reference point for design (Italy) with the footwear craftsmanship of Colombia. Louis Guarin’s hope by integrating the golden logo into Stivali’s branding in 2016, was that when people wear Stivali, they will get to know the brand’s origin, its personality, its love for life, and that they appreciate humanity’s different cultures, backgrounds and histories around the world.